Lightwave and Photoshop tutorials:
Modeling, part one
Lighting, part one
Surfacing, part two

Caustics

First we need an object to see the effect on. Let's quickly create a 2 minute mockup boat in modeler: Create a default 1 m ball. Boolean subtract a 95 cm ball from it. Subdivide. Boolean subtract the top half with a box.



Taper2:



And then taper2 again with X factor 200%



Use magnet tool to drag the rear of the "boat" to a proper shape



Select the top edge poly and run a round LW poly edge shaper to it:


Good enough for our purposes. Scale the object by 150%. Center. Give it a surface like "boat" and save it.

Next create a box:



Flip the polygon so that it faces down. Give it surface "caustics" and save.

In Layout, parent the caustics object to the boat. Move the boat so, that it is nicely in the shot. Turn off cast shadows and self shadow for both the Ground and water objects. Let's give the boat a quick surface: It's just a grid and some brown fractal noise, you can work out the settings by yourself ;-) Test render:



Ok. Now make a copy of our main light, make it a shadow map casting spot, parent and target it to the boat, and move to -5m Y, 0 X, 0 Z. Reduce the intensity to 200%. As both the Ground and water have shadow casting off, the only thing keeping our boat in this light's shadow is the caustics object. Next we will make some holes to it by copying the water's bump map parameters to the caustic object's clip map, i reduced the texture size to 5 cm.



Naturally this clip map, as any other procedural texture can be animated with some velocity. Also remember to set the map to world coordinates if you wish to move the boat. A bump map parented to the boat would add to the interactivity, especially if the boat was moving. Yippee! We are ready. Class dismissed!

In the final stages of finishing this scene i ran into some weird behavior on LW's side, but I'm not sure what caused it, though i suspect it being either me being tired or the transparency (Translucency) shader...

The two images above should look exactly the same except for the caustics on the boat, ...whooaa!

Yep, it was me being tired, I used the actual sunlight for caustics, not the clone. The clouds transparency shader still used this light, so no wonder there's some differences.


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